MANILA, Philippines – "Welcome to Binay country."
This was how a banner, located conspicuously on the sidewalk of South Road Properties (SRP), dubbed Cebu City on the morning of Sunday, January 31.
After a procession in the city was able to draw hundreds of thousands of pilgrims last Friday, the culminating Mass had been expected to attract one million people, many of them delegates from other countries.
The banner's red print, visible to all vehicles passing by, seems to refer to Cebu as the stronghold of Vice President Jejomar Binay, one of the leading contenders in the 2016 presidential race.
Other Cebuanos who weren't pleased about the "Binay country" tag also took to social media to express their anger.
Dear Mr Binay, stop labelling Cebu as "Binay Country". — Jeremiah Tank (@jeremiahTANK) January 31, 2016 Umm, who decided Cebu is Binay country again???? This pic was taken earlier, along SRP..i think today. But really? pic.twitter.com/cz1y7pSWPW — Shaun James (@jamesbug2002) January 31, 2016 Dear Binay, STOP calling Cebu a Binay country! Stupido numero uno! Pwe! — TriNona (@TriNonaKat) January 31, 2016 UNSA JUD KA-BOGO ANG NAGBUTANG ANI? FYI VP BINAY, YOU DON'T OWN CEBU. I'M GLAD YOU WERE BOOED LAST TIME YOU CAME HERE. — Lawrence Nakila (@nakilalawrence) January 31, 2016
A number of netizens directed their ire at suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, saying he was giving his party-mate much leeway in campaigning in Cebu.
Is the "Binay country" banner in poor taste? Sound off in the comments below!